The word ‘Kutumba’ holds a special meaning in the Nepali language. It stands for a unique bond amongst community members. As their name, Kutumba is all about bringing together traditional folk tunes and instruments with new and improvised sounds and ideas.
Kutumba is a folk instrumental ensemble, group of seven professionals from Kathmandu. Having come together for the preservation of their culture and art, Kutumba wishes to spread love and joy of Nepali folk music throughout the world. Self motivated and self driven, Kutumba is a group with their own unique sound and vision.The seven members have different roots and backgrounds in music. Kutumba is the harmony of traditional roots, culture and new sounds.
Tunguna Arun first learnt to play the guitar while watching his brothers’ play and thinking that they were cool. He started jamming with Rashil and then decided to learn a Nepali instrument to be able to join Kutumba, so he picked the Tungna. He says it was a difficult instrument to learn but the support of his band members proved invaluable.
Arun also sings during his free time. His favourite Nepali artists are Deep Shrestha and Deepak Kharel.
Binay (Bsar) Maharjan
Binay (Bsar) Maharjan
As the newest member of Kutumba, Binay Maharjan joins Rubin in the wind section to lend extra wings to the ensemble's flute repertoire. At 22, Binay has been playing the flute for 6 years now, and has toured in China and all over Nepal. He started out under the guidance of Ram Krishna Duwal and studies under Raman Maharjan presently.
Binay's immediate future plans include releasing his first solo album and rejoining formal education. Inspired by a range of musical genres such as fusion, rock, Latin and classics, Binay enjoys composing and arranging his own music.
Percussion Pavit works magic on percussions and is a vital binding force for the band. Kutumba was born when ‘the guys’ got together at Pavits’ shop one day and decided that after playing together for Sukhrabar (a monthly music event at the Patan Museum) all those evenings, they needed to come up with their own band. They were all keen to develop Nepali folk music and extend its reach to their generation of young Nepalis.
Pavit started playing the Madal since he was a child, but it was only after class 12 and a friends’ influence that he decided to play music professionally. It was then that he picked up the keyboards and has since moved on to playing in big events such as Shikhar tours, Kantipur TV, Taal, Shukrabar and more. Besides Kutumba, Pavit manages his shop, teaches keyboard at Shuvatara School and loves to paint.
Percussion Inspired by his father, there probably isn’t a percussion instrument Raju can not play. From the Madal to the Khin, Raju’s speciality is the Tabla, in which he has a Masters degree from allahabadh. At 27, is considered one of the best percussionists in the country.
Raju loves to listen to classical folk tunes but also sing slow melodious ones. In fact he recently recorded a few songs, but will we ever get to hear them? “It’s for my personal interest only” he claims. Raju also teaches music at Shuvatara School.
Rashil wanted to be a guitarist when he was growing up. He played the instrument faithfully until class seven, but on a trip to Pokhara, he heard a young kid play the Sarangi and it changed his life. The Sarangi cast a spell on him and when he came back to Kathmandu, Rashil was determined to learn how to play the instrument. And learn he did! Not only did he learn to play it, he has also been researching the instrument to further the range of sounds it produces. He indulges in trips to villages around the country on a mission to learn more about indigenous Nepali instruments.
Rubin Kumar Shrestha
Rubin Kumar Shrestha
This young genius was inspired by the Mahabharata and Ramayana to pick up the flute. At the age of 12, Rubin fell in love with the way Lord Krishna played his instrument, and began to learn to play the flute himself. At 20, he has completed a Bachelors course in classical music. He likes listening to fusion music and maintains that as his first interest.
If you thought this versatile flautist was only a connoisseur of the flute think again, Rubin claims he knows how to play up to 15 musical instruments! He teaches music at Shuvatara School and composed the oft- played jingle for Kantipur News. He says meeting ‘the guys’ at Aarti (Pavit’s shop) and being a part of Kutumba, is a dream come true.
Effects Siddhartha at 22, is the newest and youngest member of Kutumba. He joined the band to fill in for Shambu (a past member) and the rest is history. Siddhartha was always interested in music but it was more of the pop rock and guitar variety. With effects, he now covers all sorts of sounds from the Ghungaroo to the Jhyamta.
Siddhartha learnt all he knows from pure observation and says Shambu taught him a lot before his left. Besides music, he also loves sketching and painting and firmly believes that there is scope for great art in Nepal. He is a full time student at Sirjana College of Fine Arts.
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